How I Closed 19 Transactions In My first Year of Real Estate as a Teenager
Before I give away the goods, I’ll need you to take a moment to walk in my shoes.
When I was eighteen, I decided to get my Colorado real estate license. This was no easy decision for me as I was running a division of one of my families general contracting companies in Colorado Springs earning a healthy commission based income. On track to franchise the company out. How could I give up this “silver spoon” opportunity? I chose to walk away, get my real estate license, and transition myself out of an established company because I believe the taste of success is so much sweeter when it has been personally nurtured from the start; not to mention I love my family just slightly more when we are not in business together. It was also important for me to pave my own path and earn my own success, every last bit of it. With a strong opposition to college, I needed to find something that offered an easy and cost-effective start up as well as something that had no earning limitations.
Real estate was my pick. A month of school and a few thousand dollars away from closing deals left and right! Right? WRONG! It wasn’t until I was halfway through school (which I had been commuting four hours round-trip every day as well as paid for in full) that I realized I was in way over my head. Facilitating real estate transactions is no easy task, but earning business was nearly impossible in an industry flooded with pining, educated, established, and experienced sales professionals when I had no experience in the industry, a plethora of stereotypes to work against, and no viable sphere of influence ready to buy or sell. What was I going to do? Call my friends taking sorority pictures and setting up frat parties to see who they might know looking to invest in real estate? Not my best bet.
After taking this into consideration, I cowered away from the resale market and focused my attention on landing a job with a semi-custom home builder. All I would have to do is show up and wait for someone to walk through the door! I figured I could make a good living and simultaneously build my resume. Most importantly, I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about my lacking sphere or experience. I ended up landing a great job selling homes for a large, high end, semi-custom home builder. Out of fifty applicants, I was fortunate enough to earn “the dream job” (guaranteed six figures and benefits at 19). Business was very easy to come by… and I hated it.
I missed the “hunt,” the strategy. I was too hungry to give up my entrepreneurial spirit, too tired of watching the hands on the clock tick by, and quite honestly I am unemployable because I was built to run the show. I knew the longer I stayed, the harder it would be for me to give up the stability this job offered, so I put in my two weeks. After stumbling my way into the resale market, I began to finish cold call calling all of my past clients from the general contracting company I had previously run as well as the unfiltered “leads” my current team was providing me. Day in and day out, I made call after call. Practicing and perfecting all the scripts I had been provided. Upwards of 1,000 calls later and I had nothing to show for all of my efforts. In fact, the ONE viable lead I got, my team leader took. What a fool I was to walk away from not only one but two incredible opportunities! However, the fact of the matter was that I chose this path, MY path. I needed to get right with that and learn how to pave it. It was time for me to think outside the box, voyage into uncharted waters, and brainstorm an unconventional approach to marketing myself.
Before I could build, I had to lay my foundation and ask myself two very honest questions. Two questions I should have asked myself right out the gate; What do I need? Why choose me? I needed a conducive learning environment, something more intimate, “hands-on,” and less “dog eat dog.” I needed a new brokerage. I needed to educate myself extensively because I knew I would have to work twice as hard for half as much to combat a fraction of my lack of experience and young age. My final question still stood; why choose me? If I couldn’t answer this question, I couldn’t expect to earn business from anyone. I understood that this question alone would determine whether or not I made it through my first year in real estate. Since I couldn’t justify any sales pitch I could not prove, I had to look at what I had on paper. What did I have that set me apart from thousands of other qualified professionals in this industry? What did I have previous experience with? What would build my credibility to a potential client base?
New home building, general contracting, and an abundance of millennial energy. Having spent the past few years running, leading, and training a sales team, I understood that people don’t buy a product or service. People buy the individual promoting a product or service. How could I get people to buy me? Understanding that I was fully enveloped in the game of sales and marketing, I needed to figure out the best way to market myself, my business, and my brand. Knowing I would only appeal to a niche market, I needed to figure out how to reach the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time, without going broke, all while simultaneously building my credibility. I was down to my last 2 months of savings and had no clients. It was time to sink or swim… and maybe start thinking about ramen for dinner.
How many times could I throw myself at a wall until I stuck? THOUSANDS!
I came to realize the database and sphere of influence I “didn’t have” had been sitting right in front of me the whole time, on a site I checked every day. Hello Facebook! Now that I finally realized the network I had immediately available to me, it was time to grow it. I chose to be the random girl on your newsfeed because Facebook marketing allows for me to consistently and creatively follow up with my database. It is forever growing, it is very cost effective (if not free), it is easier to grow and share networks than most other social media, and there is a wider range of age demographics on Facebook, who are in a position to invest in real estate, than other social media platforms.
Facebook marketing would not only allow me to prospect people currently needing real estate assistance but build my pipeline with my own age group for years to come. One of the most wonderful things Facebook marketing offers is Facebook live… if it is done correctly. Live videos are a great way to interact with a large audience on a personal level and stand out. Everyone on my friend list, everyone who follows me on Facebook, they all receive a notification when I am live. These notifications help secure a position for me to capture a larger audience as they draw more attention and I am less likely to end up lost in the news feed.
I’m not a postcard, an automated email, a telemarketer, or a door to door salesman when I am using Facebook live. I’m a person with a personality. Relatable. Most importantly, I am limitless. Every other approach to marketing that I can think of has a cap when the dollar runs out, farming, purchasing leads, bus stop benches, newspapers, etc. There are only so many people your dollar can reach. Facebook has approximately 1.3 billion people it caters to, and that number is forever growing (there are more people on Facebook than Catholics worldwide). I can take 15 minutes of my time to reach a limitless audience for free. Best of all, I don’t have to cold call or follow up with fake leads, sit at a slow open house for hours on end, and I attract qualified/ motivated clients who engage me for my services directly.
Don’t you love those, “Hey, I want to sell my house” phone calls? I sure do! Additionally, I like to be selective, and let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than working with someone you don’t jive with or an impossible client. Since my live videos communicate a good part of my personality and business, I only attract people who already believe we would work well together…. no fake smiles and toughing it through with my clients. I can also take a sneak peek into their life and make sure I feel comfortable and safe meeting with potential prospects, as I don’t have any interest in betting against the odds or finding out my resale value on the black market.
In short, I did not choose Facebook marketing because it was the fun millennial thing to do. I chose Facebook marketing because it was my most viable option with the resources, experience, time, and knowledge I had. Facebook marketing was the only way I could see growing my business/brand/credibility quickly, cost-effectively, and at such a young age. I chose Facebook live because it is a new approach to marketing that is vastly overlooked and untapped in this industry. This gem hiding right in front of me was the perfect shuttle to pave my own path and create a demand for my services in more markets than just one. I chose live marketing because it pushes the envelope and tests the limits in an industry I now can compete in. I chose Facebook marketing because I was not willing to settle for less than I had previously given up.
I continue to choose Facebook marketing because it consistently provides me with opportunity. There is so much I can communicate, attract, and detour through Facebook live.. and YOU CAN TOO using three simple keys to unlock the magic, which we’ll discuss in an upcoming article.